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Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa)
King supports 'federal abortion coverage'
 
Wait, what? Steve King's office is already walking back his assertion that he's "never heard of" someone getting pregnant from incest or statutory rape. More surprising is the content of the walkback, which starts out silly and ends up baffling. At TPM, Evan McMorris-Santoro reports:
“What he was saying was, he personally does not know a girl who was raped,” Brittany Lesser, a spokesperson for King said. “He never says, ‘I’ve never heard of that.’ There’s a fine line between ‘I’ve never heard of that’ and ‘I don’t know personally anybody who’s been raped. There’s a difference. There is a difference.”
The problem with that is it wasn't the question being asked of King. Nobody asked him whether or not he personally knew such a person; the question was what Steve King thought should be done when that does happen. The defense here is that there's a difference between the question King was asked and the one he answered, and a further difference between what King actually said and what his spokesperson insists he meant. Or ... something.

But this part is just amazing:

Lesser said “of course” King is aware that girls have been impregnated by statutory rape or incest, and said King supports people who have not been forcibly raped receiving federal abortion coverage under a rape exemption.

“That’s a given for anybody who understands pro-life legislation,” Lesser said.

Say what, now? Steve King supports federal abortion coverage for victims of non-forcible rape, to use the Republican term? That's a hell of a thing, and as far as I can tell it's the complete opposite of what Steve King thought up until now. Remember, this is the guy who demands Congress toss aside animal cruelty and dog fighting legislation because strengthened abortion laws are more important. Now he's supporting abortion, and not just abortion but federal abortion coverage, for people "who have not been forcibly raped"? And that's a "given"?

I am honestly not sure what's going on here, or how quickly Steve King's office will now walk back these additional statements from Steve King's office, but at this moment, we seem to be in a position where even official congressional psychopath Steve King is radically more supportive of abortion rights than the rest of his party.

Or, to put it another way, the official position of the Republican Party, as codified in their new "personhood"-based platform that demands an end to abortion in all circumstances without exceptions, even in cases of rape, "forcible" or "non-forcible" incest, or to save a patient's life, is to the right of even one of their most hard-right members of Congress. And these are the people demanding Todd Akin resign, lest he make them look bad?

I am really, really looking forward to hearing Steve King explain this one. Or, hell, hearing the chairman of the Republican Party explain why Steve King supports federal abortion coverage even for "non-forcible" rapes, but the official Republican platform considers that far too radical a stance to embrace. Or, while we're dreaming, hearing Mitt Romney explain the same damn thing.

It would be remarkable if the primary outcome of this Todd Akin flap was that the movers and shakers of the Republican Party actually had to stand up and explain what the official Republican stance on these issues actually was. Not holding my breath, but it would be a hell of a thing.

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